Day One Thousand Two Hundred #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We’re still sorting through the incidents of yesterday. We possess the redoubt. All its defenders are no more. Even Moglen is gone. Caught nearby the altar when fire from heaven descended at the command of Elijah.

What that all means for the future puzzles us. Does it mean Stan gains the advantage?

I can’t think so. But Jezer and a few others are fearful of unlooked for consequences entailed by his ‘sacrifice’ instead of Mawuli’s.

Tomas and the Captain are struggling with the full impact of their actions.

Elijah will talk to them after he finishes conferring with Jezer. Mei and Jezer want to leave immediately for the hiding place, but Elijah has a different opinion.

I believe we’re staying.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Ninety One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Tomas does what Tomas does best. He scouted and kept us all on a safe track. He had just returned to assist me with Elijah up and over a difficult section when the ground shuddered.

I could tell it was only beginning and told everyone to stay down. The earth shook violently. It seemed it would never stop. All around fissures were opening with horrendous rending sounds.

Then as fast as it started it was over. The fissures closed on themselves and the earth ceased rocking.

And moments later all that was left was the memory. It felt so unreal. So fleeting.

And then my thoughts turned to those back at the hiding place.

Elijah told me not to worry.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Eighty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah summoned Tomas and me to join him in a walk inside the hiding place. As we went he closely interrogated Tomas about what he had seen while away in the Galilee. Not about the high place and the altar, but about everything else.

Elijah wanted to know about Sy’s redoubt – were any troops stationed there?

Tomas proceeded to give us a rundown on the units there and then the best he could, he tallied everything else in the valley onwards.

I asked if he knew anything about the armies of the East and the North.

He told us that Sy had traveled further east and took a quick survey.

I realized Elijah was wondering why there was no fighting.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Eighty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are back. After a long and tiring day. Quasimo expertly guided us around the sections that had been demolished not very long ago.

We ran into the Captain and Jezer who were on their way out on an errand. They reversed direction and accompanied us back to the hiding place.

We learned from them that Tomas and Sy have not yet returned. Otherwise everyone is accounted for (now that we are here).

Both Elijah and myself were dismayed that nothing is known about Tomas and Sy. Neither their whereabouts nor their well-being. They should have been back long ago.

Then I remembered the urgent impression I received last week to pray for them. It gave me great comfort.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Eighty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I was disappointed. Instead of being back in the hiding place and resting, we were trudging up and over hills avoiding the major pathways.

As we neared the Damascus-Jerusalem road, my attitude improved for I recovered my bearings. And soon after Quasimo took the lead as he was more familiar with these approaches to our destination.

Elijah held me back and picked up our conversation of the other day. He shared that his dreams about the end have returned and are stronger than ever. He confessed that he does not dwell on them but finds that as the time draws closer, he did not want to let the opportunity pass to thank me for my constant help and companionship.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Eighty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I stirred early and discovered that Elijah was already up. He looked at me without a word pacing about looking up at the heavens.

I opened my mouth to speak only to have him shush me.

Then he stood stock still, raised his staff and swung it in an arc from horizon to horizon.

Fifteen points of light sprang to life marking the staff’s passage against the sky. They glowed brilliantly then extinguished.

We awakened our three brothers for breakfast and a conference.

Our decision was swift and unanimous. We will forsake our direct heading and make our way around the area of the hiding place and approach from the Damascus side.

We tasked Reuben with finding the best way.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Eighty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We passed the night under the stars. And stars were all we could see, for our only view was straight overhead from a dirt floor at the bottom of a rocky depression.

I traded the early morning watch to Magwich who wanted to take in the view. He remarked to me afterwards that he had thought he’d never see it again.

Throughout the day’s hike Magwich overflowed with joy and thankfulness, an infectious feeling that sped us along.

Reuben kept the advance, dropping back only twice to hold us in place while two patrols passed through.

Quasimo is optimistic that we will be back at the hiding place before the meridian tomorrow.

Elijah and I had much to talk over.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Seventy Eight #DayoftheEndoftheWorld

Magwich insists that we abandon him and return to the hiding place. And argues he will follow when he can walk on his own.

If Elijah had not finally consented to rest, I am sure that Magwich’s argument would have ended in short order.  But it had fallen to me to attend to him instead and I confess I was feeling keenly the need to return, if only to inquire about Tomas and Sy.

I was at the point of giving in when Reuben entered to silence our bickering. A platoon of soldiers was approaching.

We held our breath as Reuben went down to observe.

They moved on without entering and Magwich did not renew his demand that we leave.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Sixty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Word about our intended mission spread throughout the hiding place and we soon had more volunteers than necessary, or, frankly, desirable.

Elijah and I had already selected two to accompany us – Quasimo and Reuben. So the others were all disappointed. I did encourage each one to commit to the all important labor of intercession, and received encouragement myself when they answered in the affirmative.

We made our way North. Knowing that our expedition would take up a few days we kept an easy pace. Especially climbing out by the remaining path in that direction.

We stayed well away from the main road, observing the traffic thereon – mostly tanker trucks.

Reuben found us a nice sheltered spot to pass the night.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Sixty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I understood Elijah’s decision. It was a nod to the concern held by the majority within the hiding place. Though I was willing to go along, I felt that a latitude should be granted to those who will operate the drones to utilize them when and where necessity dictates.

I insisted that he and I go out with Quasimo on a test run. We chose to take a peek at Damascus.

We put some distance between us and the hiding place before launching.

Though the city was small in the viewfinder, a stream of activity was clearly discernible going in and out – unmistakably tanker trucks.

On the way back, Elijah asked if we could take a look at Jerusalem tomorrow.